Welcome to Mrs. Madden's Class!

A step-by-step guide to starting the Spring 2014 semester!

Welcome to Class! Please reply to my welcome email and give me your most up to date email and phone number. Thanks!



A Little About Your Teacher...

I am thrilled to have you in my Biology class this semester and hope that you enjoy the course! Biology ranks as one of my favorite topics both in and outside of the classroom, and I hope that my excitement is contagious. I look forward to a challenging, productive and fun semester with you!

Click here to learn more about me, and here to meet my family.

Please do not hesitate to contact me. I aim to help you reach your goals for success in this class, and we can't do that without communicating. I enjoy answering your questions!

The best time to reach me is weekdays 10am-10pm EST. Email me at any time and I will get back to you within 24 hours. You may also reach me by phone (be sure to leave a message if I cannot answer.)


Student Step-by-Step Guide: Do this right away!

Step 1: Complete the SOC (Student Orientation Course)

When completing the Student Orientation Course, it is important to complete topics in order and complete all items on the checklist.

The following items are required for the completion of the Student Orientation Course (SOC):

  • students complete all sign off
  • students complete all agreement quizzes
  • students make a 100% on the final Student Orientation Quiz.


Students may choose to opt out of the Student Orientation Course*; however, students who elect to opt out of the Student Orientation Course are still responsible for all content presented in the course.

Students must finish or opt out of the SOC before gaining access to the course. Students will not gain access to the course until the first start date or one workday after the semester has begun on January 6, 2014.

*Only those students who have taken the SOC previously are able to "opt out"

Step 2: Enter Your Course and Select a Start Date

  • Select a Start Date: Students will select a start date of January 21 (16 weeks), February 3 (14 weeks), or February 18 (12 Weeks). Regardless of the start date, the course ends May 9, 2014.
  • Assignment Due Dates: Student work is due bi-weekly on Fridays at midnight. Check course schedules (posted in course) for specific due dates.
  • Late Work: Work turned in after the deadline on the course schedule will be accepted within 1 week with a late penalty assessed. Late penalty begins on Saturday and is deducted at a rate of 10% of the assignment value per school day. Work submitted on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday is considered 1 day late.

NOTE: You will be expected to complete the same number of assignments/material in the course regardless of start date. For example, a 12 week course covers the same amount of material much faster than an 18 week course. Take this into consideration.

Take a Tour: Navigating the Course (Helpful Tips, too!)

Navigating the Course

Step 3: Print out your Schedule & Get Started!

Once you have chosen a start date, print out the matching schedule on the Course Homepage (Course Info). Read through the schedule to see what is due daily. Work the schedule in order.

Watch the video tutorial below to learn how to use your schedule to turn in your assignments on time.

How to Use the Schedule to Complete Assignments: Start on Day One!

Understanding the Course Schedule



Parents Can Check Student Grades - With an Account

Important Information for Parents

The Parent Account gives you information about your child’s grades and progress in their course. If your child’s grade drops below a 75, you will receive an automated phone call. If your child’s grade drops below a 70, you will receive a phone call from me.

If you already have a parent account please do NOT create a new one.

1) Please check to see that your parent account is linked to your student’s account.

2) For more information click Help on the Log in page or click this link.

If you are uncertain about whether you have a parent account or not,

1) Log in to GAVS at www.gavirtualschool.org and at the Log In page type in your username and password.

2) For more information click Help at the top of the Log In page or click this link.

*Information for parents who have NEVER created a parent account.

1) Login to our website www.gavirtualschool.org

2) Click the “Log In To GAVS” icon

3) Click “Create An Account” from the navigation bar.

4) You will need to know your child’s GTID and date of birth.

5) Please follow the directions on the screen.

6) Be sure you have linked your parent account to your student’s account.

7) For more information simply click HELP at the top of the Log In page or click this link.


D2L Help Sessions for Students and Parents:

When: (attend any of the following)

Tuesday, February 18 at 11AM

Thursday, February 20 at 7PM


This is an online event in the Adobe D2L Help Classroom

You will join by entering the meeting as a Guest. Your username is your first and last name. Here is the link to join each D2L Session:

Adobe D2L Help Classroom

The space for each session is limited. We ask everyone to join the session using only ONE computer at your home. If the session is full, the recording will be posted within the learning management system and you will have an opportunity to review the recording OR attend another upcoming meeting. The schoolwide D2L meetings are separate from individual Welcome sessions held by each teacher. Please plan to attend the meeting with your teacher as well. Your teacher will notify you about the date of that meeting.


Biology Synchronous Sessions: Our Online Classroom

The Biology Learning Lounge: Weekly Office Hours

I will conduct a synchronous class with students once per week. Days/times are indicated on the course schedules. If students cannot attend a meeting, recordings will be posted on the Biology course homepage. This is an excellent opportunity to get questions answered concerning content as well as clarification on how to do specific assignments. These sessions are intended to be helpful and I welcome input from students as to what we should discuss.

All sessions are announced on the Course Homepage with a link to join the session.

I strongly encourage you to make the Biology Learning Lounge sessions a part of your weekly routine to boost your potential for success in this course, and better reach your goal.

Welcome Chat

Parents and Students are encouraged to watch this previously recorded welcome chat (or preferrably attend one of the live chats listed on the student's chosen schedule) to learn more about the course and answers to commonly asked questions.

Click here to watch a previous semester's Welcome Chat.

Where Can I Go To Find answers to other questions?

1. Start with the GaVS Knowledgebase, a searchable database of tutorials on the most common questions:
Click here to use the GAVS Helpdesk/Knowledgebase!

2. Look within the news announcements (in the Course) or Email communication from me.

3. Familiarize yourself with the Student Handbook: Click here to access the Student Handbook.

4. Feel free to contact me directly via phone or email.

Whoo Hoo! You made it!

Congrats - you made it to the end of the welcome newsletter!

Parents and Students .... Please take two minutes (or less) to take a quick survey. This will help me get to know you better and provide me with helpful information to ensure student success.

Click here for super quick survey!

Thank you!

Let's Have an Amazing Semester!